A CNBC story published today documents the herculean efforts by many banks to process, approve and fund loans through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. The piece highlights Bentonville, Arkansas-based Arvest Bank, which has processed 5,000 PPP loans totaling over $800 million, ranging from $2,380 up to the PPP max of $10 million.
Arvest “was able to finesse logjams in the application system when it realized that traffic was light at midnight,” CNBC reported, adding that the bank had funded 35-40% of the loans. “We just swarmed this thing,” Arvest President and CEO—and former ABA American Bankers Council Chairman—Kevin Sabin said in an interview.
The article also featured NexTier Bank in Kittanning, Pennsylvania, which has had 500 PPP loans approved and expected to reach 200 funded today. The bank used its own loan form rather than wait for one from the SBA and processed applications with its loan officers working from home. Overall, as of 11:30 a.m. today, more than 900,000 PPP loans totaling $220 billion from more than 4,500 lenders had been approved, according to SBA figures.
Interviewed for the piece, American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols highlighted banks’ diligence in moving forward and ABA’s efforts to obtain clarifications from and supply implementation feedback to policymakers. “Banks are absolutely beginning to fund, and you’re going to see those numbers grow dramatically,” Nichols told CNBC. “We are still seeking some areas of guidance around some of the contours of the program.”